Advanced Materials & Processes

NOV-DEC 2013

Covers developments in engineering materials selection, processing, fabrication, testing/characterization, materials engineering trends, and emerging technologies, industrial and consumer applications, as well as business and management trends

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industry news briefs A new collaborative agreement between Momentive Specialty Chemicals Inc. (MSC), Columbus, Ohio, and the Fraunhofer Project Center for Composites Research at Western University, London, Ontario, brings a total solutions approach to high-volume, lightweight composites for the North American automotive market. The partnership makes new processes such as HP-RTM or D-SMC lines much more accessible as both the state-ofthe-art systems and equipment will be available. MSC will use the Fraunhofer Project Center's facility and equipment for its own independent research and product development with customers. www.momentive.com, www.fraunhofer.de/en. Research from the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, shows that cement made with waste ash from sugar production is stronger than ordinary cement—the ash helps to bind water in the cement so that it is stronger, can withstand higher pressure, and crumbles less. The process also saves energy and reduces pollution. www.nbi.ku.dk/english. The cement powder is packaged in aluminum foil and placed in a sample holder. The sample holder is sealed tight with indium wire and 22 screws. METALS POLYMERS CERAMICS Self-healing polymer repairs itself Scientists from CIDETEC Centre for Electrochemical Technologies, San Sebastian, Spain, report the first selfhealing polymer that spontaneously and independently repairs itself without any intervention. The new material could be used to improve the security and lifetime of plastic parts in everyday products such as electrical components, cars, and even houses. Researchers dubbed the material a "Terminator" polymer in tribute to the shape-shifting, molten T-100 terminator robot from the Terminator 2 film. Scientists prepared the self-healing thermoset elastomers A cylindrical sample of from common polymeric starting materials using a simple and the elastomer mends inexpensive approach. The polymer behaves as a Velcro-like itself after being cut in sealant or adhesive, displaying an impressive 97% healing effitwo by a razor blade ciency in just two hours. After cutting the material into two sepand can be manually stretched without arate pieces with a razor blade and allowing it to self-heal, the rupture. material is unbreakable when stretched manually. "The fact that poly(urea-urethane)s with similar chemical composition and mechanical properties are already used in a wide range of commercial products makes this system very attractive for a fast and easy implementation in real industrial applications," notes the study author. www.cidetec.es/en. New sensor improves lifespan of high-temperature engines A temperature sensor developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge, UK, could improve the efficiency, control, and safety of high-temperature engines. The new sensor, or thermocouple, reduces drift by 80% at temperatures of 1200°C, and by 90% at 1300°C, potentially doubling the lifespan of engine components. The thermocouple withstands oxidization and minimizes any contamination to the wires from the metallic sheath. It is made of an outer wall of a conventional oxidizationresistant nickel alloy that can withstand high temperatures, and an inner wall of a different, impurity-free nickel alloy which prevents conThe phase-change memory arrays. tamination while reducing drift. Courtesy of SIMIT/Xilin Zhou. "Nickel is an ideal material for these appliA new, environmentally-friendly electronic cations as it is a good compromise between alloy consisting of 50 aluminum atoms bound cost and performance, but there is a gap in the to 50 atoms of antimony may be promising market for applications above 1000°," says for building next-generation "phase-change" Michele Scervini, a postdoctoral researcher. memory devices, which may be the dataResults from tests on a prototype device storage technology of the future, according to showed a significant reduction in drift at tema study by researchers at the Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Techperatures of 1200° and 1300°, meaning that a nology at the Chinese Academy of double-walled thermocouple can be used at Sciences. They studied the material's phasetemperatures well above the current limitation changing properties and found that it is more of 1000°. For more information: Michele thermally stable than the Ge-Sb-Te comScervini, +44 (0)1223 3 31950, www.cam.ac.uk. pound. Al50Sb50, in particular, has three dis- Magnesium to lightweight auto parts A University of Colorado Boulder professor was awarded a three-year, $3.6 million 6 ADVANCED MATERIALS & PROCESSES • NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2013 tinct levels of resistance—and thus the ability to store three bits of data in a single memory cell, instead of just two, suggesting that it can be used for multilevel data storage. http://english.sim.cas.cn.

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